Paul Scholes

Paul Scholes

Infobox Football biography
playername = Paul Scholes

fullname = Paul Aaron Scholes
dateofbirth = birth date and age|1974|11|16
cityofbirth = Salford
countryofbirth = England
height = convert|5|ft|7|in|m|2|abbr=on
position = Attacking midfielder
currentclub = Manchester United
clubnumber = 18
youthyears = 1991–1993
youthclubs = Manchester United
years = 1993–
clubs = Manchester United
caps(goals) = 400 (96)
nationalyears = 1997–2004
nationalteam = England
nationalcaps(goals) = 066 (14)
pcupdate = 16:34, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

Paul Aaron Scholes (born 16 November 1974) is an English football player who has spent his whole career at Manchester United. Scholes has been called the best midfielder of his generation, [cite news |last=Mathieson |first=Stuart |url= |title=Scholes sticks to his guns |publisher=Manchester Evening News |date=21 October 2006 |accessdate=2007-02-04 ] and was praised for his modesty and attitude towards the game. [cite news |last=Ladyman |first=Ian |url= |title=Scholes has proved that you don't have to be flash to be a legend in the Premiership |publisher=The Daily Mail |date=2 January 2007 |accessdate=2007-02-04 ] Like Francesco Totti of Roma, Paolo Maldini of Milan and his Manchester United team-mate Ryan Giggs, Scholes is a one club man, having spent his entire professional career with a single club.

Scholes represented England for a period of seven years, having been handed his début in 1997. He went on to represent his country at four major tournaments; the 1998 and 2002 World Cups and the 2000 and 2004 European Championships. Following Euro 2004, Scholes announced his retirement from international football, citing his intentions to focus on his club career with Manchester United and spend more time with his family. Scholes went to Cardinal Langley Roman Catholic High School in Middleton Manchester. At his final period of school he was selected to represent Great Britain National Schools in Football.

Rio Ferdinand and Sir Alex Ferguson considered Scholes to be the club's best player, and former Netherlands star Edgar Davids called him the best midfielder in the world. [cite news |last=Austin |first=Simon |url= |title=Why Scholes is Man Utd's talisman|publisher=BBC|date=20 May 2008 |accessdate=2008-05-08 ]

Club career

Scholes was born in Salford and grew up as an Oldham Athletic supporter, but has trained with Manchester United since the age of 14cite news|title=Simply the best|publisher=The Observer|last=Jackson|first=Jamie|date=2008-05-18|url=] . He then later joined as a trainee upon leaving the Cardinal Langley Roman Catholic High School, Middleton, Greater Manchester in the summer of 1991.

Contrary to popular belief, he was not a member of Manchester United's 1992 FA Youth Cup-winning squad, but he was part of the youth team that reached the final in the following season. Scholes turned professional on 23 July 1993, but did not make his breakthrough into the Old Trafford team until the 1994–95 season, when he made 17 league appearances and scored five goals. His debut for the senior squad came on 21 September 1994, where he scored twice in a 3-2 victory over Port Vale in the League Cup. The 20-year-old Scholes proved himself to be a promising understudy for the likes of Eric Cantona (who was banned for eight months after 25 January for assaulting a spectator against Crystal Palace) and Andy Cole (who was cup-tied for United's FA Cup games). Scholes came on as a substitute in the FA Cup final against Everton, and came close to scoring on two occasions late in the game, but Everton goalkeeper Neville Southall foiled his shots and United lost the game 1-0.

In 1995-96, after fellow striker Mark Hughes moved to Chelsea, Scholes had even more first-team opportunities. He stood in for the suspended Eric Cantona as Andrew Cole's strike-partner for the first two months of the campaign, and even after Cantona's comeback there were still plenty of first team opportunities for Scholes, who scored 14 goals in all competitions as United became the first English team to win The double twice.

Scholes picked up another league title medal in 1996-97, but was restricted to just 16 league games 3 goals.

Scholes reinvented himself somewhat from a striker to that of a midfielder and forward attacker, featuring in midfield during the 1997-98 after Roy Keane suffered a knee injury in late September and did not play again that season. United finished the season without a major trophy, only the second time in the 1990s that this happened.

In 1998–99, Scholes was a key player in Manchester United's Premiership title, FA Cup, and UEFA Champions League "Treble" success. He scored one of United's two goals against Newcastle in the FA Cup final. He also scored a vital away goal at the San Siro against Inter Milan in the quarter-final of the Champions League, but was ruled out of the final victory over Bayern Munich through suspension.

Established player

During the 2002–03 season, Scholes netted 20 goals in all competitions, including a hat-trick away to Newcastle United and a 25 yard strike off the underside of the bar against Everton.

In 14 years as a first team player at Manchester United, Scholes has won eight Premiership titles, three FA Cups, two UEFA Champions League titles, and an Intercontinental Cup, amongst many other personal achievements. As of April 30 2008, he has scored 139 goals for Manchester United in his club career.

Unlike other modern footballers, Scholes does not have an agent and negotiates deals on his own behalf. He rarely gives interviews or accepts advertising contracts.Fact|date=May 2008

David Beckham said that, among his teammates at Real Madrid, which included Zinedine Zidane, Raúl, Ronaldo, Luís Figo and Roberto Carlos, Scholes was the most admired opponent, while Micah Richards called Scholes his "favourite player of all time".

Duncan Drasdo, head of the Manchester United Supporters' Trust, said, "As much as we love Cristiano Ronaldo, you don't get the same kind of connection as you do with Paul Scholes." [cite news
title=Manchester's `Scholesy' Shuns Soccer Glitz, Leads Way to Moscow

Recent years

Since retiring from international football, Scholes has been able to concentrate on his club career. However, he was ruled out for the second half of the 2005–06 season with blurred vision. The cause of this was initially uncertain, sparking fears that it could end his career. [cite news | url= | title=Scholes career in the balance] He overcame this problem through the beginning of the year and he appeared in United's final game of the 2005–06 season, against Charlton Athletic. Reportedly, Scholes' vision has not completely recovered. [cite news | url= | title=Scholes still troubled by vision problems ]

On 22 October 2006, in the 2-0 Premiership victory over Liverpool at Old Trafford, twelve years after marking his Red Devils début with a League Cup brace against Port Vale, Scholes became the ninth United player to reach the 500th appearance landmark, following the likes of Sir Bobby Charlton, Bill Foulkes, Denis Irwin and current team-mates Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville. Scholes was voted Man of the Match and gave a rare interview after the game.

Inspired goalscoring form during late 2006 and early 2007 saw players from rival Premiership teams tip Scholes to be named Footballer of the Year. Thierry Henry and Cesc Fàbregas of Arsenal, and Luis García of Liverpool, all said he was the player that they most admired. Many commentators have said that Scholes was their personal player of the year, over the high scoring Cristiano Ronaldo and Didier Drogba,Fact|date=February 2007 although he eventually finished third behind these two, with Ronaldo claiming the top prize. He also made it into the PFA Team of the year alongside 7 of his fellow team-mates. In one edition of Match Of The Day Lee Dixon claimed that Scholes was the best footballer in the Premiership.

Scholes was dismissed by referee Martin Atkinson, during Manchester United's 1-0 victory over Liverpool F.C. at Anfield on 3 March 2007, for swinging an arm at Xabi Alonso. It marked the first time he has been sent off in the league since Manchester United lost 1-0 to Everton FC in April 2005. He missed the next three domestic games. The loss of Scholes was described by Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson as "a disappointment." [ [ ESPNsoccernet - England - Liverpool v Man Utd Report ] ] A month later he was sent off in the first leg of United's Champions League quarter final at A.S. Roma. On 13 May 2007, four seasons after Manchester United's last league championship, Scholes won his 7th Premiership title.

Scholes scored his first goal of the 2007-08 campaign in United's second game of the season away to Portsmouth. Following the 0-0 draw against Reading at Old Trafford, this was Manchester United's first goal of their extremely successful 2007-2008 season, ending in the European Double, consisting of the FA Premier League and the UEFA Champions League. On 23 August 2007, Scholes was shortlisted for a place in the National Football Museum Hall of Fame 2007. Viewers of BBC's Football Focus on 1 September 2007, however, ultimately voted for Arsenal legend Dennis Bergkamp.

In his autobiography, Sir Bobby Charlton wrote that he believed that Scholes was the one player still playing who truly epitomised the spirit of Manchester United and what is great about football.Fact|date=May 2008

Scholes was ruled out of action until the end of January 2008, after scan results showed he had suffered knee ligament damage. He sustained the injury after turning awkwardly in training the night before United's Champions League Group F clash with Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday 23 October 2007. Scholes made his long awaited return coming on as a substitute in United's 3-1 win against Tottenham Hotspur in the fourth round of the FA Cup, in which he had a notable "first pass".clarifyme After a slow start following his return from injury, Scholes earned Man of the Match performances against Liverpool and Aston Villa.

On 23 April 2008, Scholes completed his 100th UEFA Champions League appearance in a semi-final, 1st leg 0-0 draw at the Camp Nou versus Barcelona. In the 2nd leg, on 23 April, Scholes scored the only goal in a 1-0 victory in the 14th minute, giving United a place in the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final. Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson stated immediately that Scholes would start the final of the 2008 UEFA Champions League Final against Chelsea F.C., which United won on penalties after a 1-1 draw in normal time. Scholes himself received a blood injury, and yellow card, early on after a clash with Claude Makélélé, but returned to play a significant part in the match until his substitution for Ryan Giggs in the 87th minute. Scholes is also the only midfielder to score two hat-tricks, one against Newcastle United F.C. and one against West Ham United, in the history of the Premier League.Fact|date=August 2008

Scholes is due to be inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in September 2008, alongside former club and international teammate David Beckham.

International career

Scholes made his international début against South Africa in 1997 in a 2-1 friendly win at Old Trafford, and was included in the England squad for the 1998 World Cup. England were grouped with Colombia, Tunisia and Romania. During England's first World Cup group match against Tunisia, Scholes sealed a 2-0 victory with a goal late in the game. Picking up a pass from Paul Ince just outside the Tunisian area, Scholes pushed the ball slightly to his right and hit a shot with his right foot which curled into the top right-hand corner of Tunisian keeper Chokri El Ouaer's net.

His international career continued after England's 1998 FIFA World Cup elimination by Argentina on penalties in the first knock-out round. Scholes managed a hat-trick for England in a game against Poland.when In addition, Scholes scored both goals in England's 2-0 win at Hampden Park over Scotland in the Euro 2000 Play-off first leg, sealing a 2-1 aggregate win and qualification for the tournamentfinals. In a friendly against Sweden that June, Scholes became the first and last England player to be sent off in an international match at the now-demolished Wembley Stadium

With the turn of the century, Scholes became a prominent player in England's midfield. He started for England in the 2002 World Cup. However, after the tournament, Scholes saw his opportunities in the national team decline due to Sven-Göran Eriksson playing him out of position on the left of midfield to accommodate the pairing of Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard in midfield.POV-assertion Scholes announced his retirement from international football in August 2004, citing his family life and his club career with Manchester United as being more important. He has three times turned down the opportunity to come out of retirement and reclaim his position in the England squad under former manager Steve McClaren and current boss Fabio Capello.Fact|date=July 2008

International goals

:"Scores and results list England's goal tally first."

Career statistics

"Statistics accurate as of match played 30 September 2008" [cite web |url= |title=Neville |accessdate=2008-09-27 | ]


Team honours with Manchester United

*Premier League:
**Winner (8): 1996, 1997, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2007, 2008
**Runner-up (2): 1998, 2006

*FA Cup
**Winner (3): 1996, 1999, 2004
**Runner-up (3): 1995, 2005, 2007

*Football League Cup:
**Winner (1): 2006
**Runner-up (1): 2003

*FA Community Shield
**Winner (5): 1994, 1996, 1997, 2003, 2008
**Runner-up (5): 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004

*UEFA Champions League:
**Winner (2): 1999, 2008

*UEFA Super Cup:
** Runner-up (2): 1999, 2008

*Intercontinental Cup:
** Winner (1): 1999


*Barclays Premiership Player of the Month: January 2003, December 2003, October 2006
*PFA Premiership Team of the Year: 2002-03, 2006-07
*Inducted into the English Football Hall of Fame in September 2008

Personal life

Scholes is an asthmatic.Fact|date=July 2008 He lives with his wife, Claire, and his children, Aaron, Alicia and Aiden, in Saddleworth, Oldham.Fact|date=August 2008


External links

* [{FE60904B-C2A8-4E60-9B05-700DBBC29BBC}&section=playerProfile&teamid=458&bioid=91964 Profile] at
*soccerbase|id=7091|name=Paul Scholes
* [ FootballDatabase provides Paul Scholes' profile and stats]

NAME= Scholes, Paul Aaron
DATE OF BIRTH= 1974-11-16
PLACE OF BIRTH= Salford , England

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